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Hepatitis C, HIV saliva-based detection technology to be showcased at medical meet

Hepatitis C, HIV saliva-based  detection technology to be  showcased at medical meet


CATHERINE W GICHUKI
DOHA
Saliva-based detection of Hepatitis C and Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV) will be one of the laboratory technologies to will be discussed at the Qatar International Medical Congress (QIMC), which will take place at the Doha Exhibition and Convention Center between May 18 and 20.
Speaking at a media roundtable to announce the speakers for the second edition of QIMC, Venture Partner at SPIRE Bioventures Hicham Jorio said that the technology is offered by OraSure Technology, a US-based company.
He said,"Hepatitis C is a major problem in the Middle East and it is expensive to do the test because it is currently blood-based. With this technology, the test can be conducted in an open setting. This is the only company in the world that has the saliva-based detection for Hepatitis C and HIV.
"The company is coming to Qatar to partner with the Al Maha Group in order to manufacture and distribute the device in the region. Qatar can be the number one exporter of this kind of technology in the Middle East and Africa."
On a different note, Jorio emphasised the importance of research as the country does not need to rely on the West whenever there is a problem. He said,"It is good to have a basic research so that at least if something comes up in the country, you have expertise to cure it."
Dr Reda Rawi from Qatar Computing Research Institute expressed belief that drugs cannot be developed without basic research."Ninety to 95 percent of research comes from universities and research institutes because the ideas come from there. If Qatar invests in research, though the outcome will not be seen in a few years, investing in research is very important," Rawi said.
Dr Mourad Benosman from Qatar Science Technology Park stressed the need to bring manufacturing companies to Qatar."We are working on a medical device, a first of its kind cardio device that can detect the amount of stress that a patient is going through. So, if it is brought to Qatar, it will be very useful," Benosman said.
Aftab Arif from CloudClinik said the company will showcase digital solutions at the event."We develop an Internet-based platform which allows patients and their doctors to go online and access their medical history. The technology helps in providing paperless records," he said.
Al Maha Medical Business Development Manager Hamza Zerroug said that the company works in distributing medical, pharmaceutical and paramedical items.
Al Maha Medical Executive Manager Mourad Mellah said,"We are more focused on the conference. There will be 14 speakers, including seven from Qatar and the rest from outside. We have speakers from the US, the UK and Germany."

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